Not only is Kevin Colbert downplaying concerns about Ben Roethlisberger coming off season-ending elbow surgery, he believes Roethlisberger may be a better version of himself in 2020. Colbert made the bold statement speaking with the media at the NFL Combine.
“But the thing that’s exciting about it is we might have a better Ben Roethlisberger coming out of this surgery,” he told a gaggle of media. “He sat for a year, didn’t have wear and tear on his body. Sure, he had a significant surgery but we’re optimistic he might be better.”
Roethlisberger posted a clip of him beginning throwing over the weekend in California. He told the PPG’s Ron Cook he has two more sessions out West before he comes back to Pittsburgh. His goal seems to be throwing for the spring program, OTAs and minicamp and being a full-go for training camp and of course, Week 1.
Colbert, though, did warn of finding the right balance and not pushing Roethlisberger too hard in what’s going to be a months-long process.
“With a guy like Ben you have to be careful and hold him back a little if he progresses a little too aggressively. Because we have to make sure he’s there for whenever the first game is.”
Colbert said the ultimate goal is to have him ready for Week 1 but hopefully, he’ll be able to take steps along the way. Throwing in mini-camp, training camp, and the preseason before the regular season begins. It will be interesting to see the team’s approach when they report to Latrobe. Prior to the injury, Roethlisberger followed a full-day, half-day, off-day schedule. We’ll see if the team alters that in either direction. Giving him less work to ease him back into things or ramping up his workload to test his arm and knock off rust after missing basically an entire year.
Overall, these comments follow the organization’s unwavering optimism they’ve held basically ever since Roethlisberger’s season was done. And now, news from doctors seems to back up that initial faith. The idea Roethlisberger will be “better” is a stretch, I’ll personally take wear and tear over major elbow surgery in a 37 year old, but Big Ben is as competitive a person and player as you’re going to find. If anyone is going to attack rehab and bounce back in the biggest way, it’s him, and the Steelers seem to think he’s going to come out better on the other side.